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Federal suit aims to protect consumers from "address book" copying apps

News by Michael Oryl on Friday March 16, 2012.

industry news · michael oryl

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A federal class action lawsuit has been filed in the state of Texas by a group of attorneys over the supposed violation of consumer privacy by applications developed by a list of companies that includes Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Foursquare, and Path.

The suit, named "Opperman, et al., v. Path, Inc., Twitter, Inc., Apple, Inc., et al., Case no. 12-00219 (W.D. Tex. 2012)," claims that "some of today's biggest technology, interactive, social networking and gaming companies have used mobile Apps that pose as video games or photo-sharing or networking services to secretly take mobile phone and tablet computer owners' private Address Book Data."

This appears to be a reference to the scandal that enveloped Path a few weeks back when it was learned that the company's application downloaded and stored complete copies of the iOS address books of its users. It was further revealed shortly thereafter that this practice of freely copying iOS address books is, in fact, dead common.

Apple, for its part, has already said that its iOS platform will be updated to require user consent when applications attempt to access personal address books.

According to RTT News, the suit represents a dozen plaintiffs, all of which own an Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or an Android device.

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Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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